It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


What can we learn from the media?

page: 1

log in


posted on Dec, 18 2013 @ 04:05 PM
A straight forward question, no? But certainly one that requires context to tackle.

This is not going to be one of my OPs (Opening Posts) that is devoted to the accumulation of knowledge. In other words, I'm not going to be hunting for information about the media from the media. I am hoping to explore a topic with you. The title of the thread is the most condensed form of the topic, but it is not answer to that question matters; it’s the discussion that matters most.

Recently, I heard a person on the radio (heh, a media reference already,) say something about the practices used by media manipulators to give a sense that a general group feels a certain way about a topic. It seems fairly clear that it sort of goes like this:

A "producer" of "news" pursues a topic (not always just a 'story' or 'event') by having their spokesperson (an anchor or "journalist") describe the particulars (often called the "official" story in conspiratorial lingo.)

The narrative of the story presents numerous opportunities to make the message "feel" a certain way; producers rarely miss the opportunity to do so, according to their position or agenda.

Most often, the producer then engages certain "experts" (media celebrities, impressively titled 'consultants,' or civil, social, or religious authorities) to comment on the topic. The producers then close the story on a particular moral (I call it the "tell") which usually creates a lingering remembrance of the 'produced' media.

Perhaps that seems clunky, but the net effect is easily observed. And more importantly, since we rely on producers of such news and informational media, it empowers them to make assertions and opinion-swaying sentiments without any effort to create the clear understanding that this represents their "take" on the story.

The trick here is using the right corroborating sources (the ones you can attribute the most serious weight to.) No one seems to pay attention to the connection these sources have to the story, or why this person was asked to comment.

Funnily enough, this practice is always intended to create a "news/story" which appears clinical and resistant to bias; when in truth, it cannot be so.

Now comes the hard part.

If we dare enter into an analysis of specific examples, we will face the peril of getting absorbed into the topic itself; apologists will be born, agitators will surface, and the discussion could be rendered an exercise in futility. I'm going to take the next few steps... and I hope you will join me with examples of your own...

The simplified rules are as follows:

Topic picked
Narrative created
Corroborating or Contrasting contributors engaged
Final words

Note that what we believe is irrelevant to this discussion. This is a simple attempt to see a pattern.

An example

Topic: Snowden
Narrative: He stole information and disseminated it, he betrayed a trust, and he slyly seeks legitimacy as a whistle-blower to avoid prosecution

- OR -

Narrative: He discovered abuse, exposed it, and thus requires protection from the offenders.

Contrasting/Corroborating: Military Industrial Complex associates decry him, Political celebrities characterize him as a threat, Human Rights activists and those generally suspicious of the ‘government’ meme characterize him as a daring hero. Sentiments are linked with patriotism, and just as strongly, the “big bad” US government.

Closure: Should he be seen as “good” or “bad”? Mainstream media consensus leans towards “bad,” Alternative media, 'blogosphere' contributors appear generally supportive (or at least ambivalent,) but seem to be waiting for an “other shoe” to drop.

Hundreds of references to Snowden can be accessed, all follow the pattern. Rarely, if ever, does the “Mainstream” entertain strong dissent within the discussion. You may find incredible insightful discussions on the subject… but never between “authorities.” Even authoritative dissent is relegated to a sideline aspect of the topic.

In the narrative imagery is also used to engage a more subtle means of changing the sentiment a casual audience member might adopt. Music is another aspect of the production. As is the method, time, and manner of its delivery. But those things can easily be excised from the context of the discussion itself, under most circumstances.

Now back to the question; what can we learn from the media?

In this case, we can discern the nature of the speakers, whom they represent, and why they are selected by producers to ‘infotain’ us. We know with reasonable certainty what the topic is about, generally. And we also can state unequivocally that each presenter has used what skills and tools they have at their disposal to make their point…, they are certain to tell us without prompting.

With each revisiting of the topic, the subject is refined and aligned. Some will discuss it as a criminal affair (primarily Mainstream) and others civil disobedience; both will adopt a political stance on it. Some will see it as a defense matter, thus elevating it to a higher stage, requiring more ‘authoritative input;’ while some others may try to engender a movement regarding the challenge itself. Group labelers will use the old memes to ‘round up’ the kinds of people who are automatic supporters of such divisiveness.

And still, what have we learned?

Thanks for entertaining my thoughts for a few minutes..., I hope you will see fit to add other such examples… but I will humbly attempt to challenge what I describe above as a ‘production’ style example… if only to keep us in the realm of finding out ultimately what the heck it is that the so-called ‘reporters’ of the world are actually teaching us.

posted on Dec, 18 2013 @ 04:15 PM
Not to believe the media but to go get the facts for your self. Review them and make your judgements based truths not on personal opinion. As everyone has an agenda, its just hard to see through some.

posted on Dec, 18 2013 @ 04:25 PM
I believe "media" itself cant really be defined by any one term. One-sided, jaded, p.c., p.-in-correct, predjudiced, corporate sponsored, politically sensitve and insensitive, rt. wing and left-wing, real and true information, and untrue and false reporting of madeup or overinflated facts, reportings, information.

And we have those that promote info for "entertainment" purposes only...(Enquirer and Weekly World News) name it, that type of media, be it print, internet, radio or broadcast channels is out there.

As I see it? What we can expect from the "media" is everything, both true and untrue, unfounded and proven, real or made-up. And that itself is the problem. Many folks believe what they read, hear and find on-line.

It all comes down to people taking media for what it is: reporting and entertainment. And the problems arise when people SWEAR because they got their info FROM the MUST be true and accurate.

And, we all know...that not all media portrays to true, real nor accurate.

posted on Dec, 18 2013 @ 04:34 PM
However, if we as a society of humans, institutionalize an effort to propagate factual information to every relevant recipient, shouldn't we expect something from those who say that is what they do, when in fact, they don't?

It's too easy to simply says if it's in the media it's suspect. Yet that is precisely the plight of the civilized world right now. I firmly believe that the value of any civilization is expressed in its individuals. To that end, being informed about the world in which you play part is of the highest importance.

Instead of saying 'go to a million different sources for the story to be understood' maybe we need to identify and point out the need for a true journalistic effort to be taken as a sacred trust; rather than a product to package and sell.

At any rate, thanks for giving it some thought.

posted on Dec, 24 2013 @ 01:45 PM
We know that the media is in a precarious state with its ever-declining advertising revenue. That equals fear. Combine it with the centralizing ownership that extends its leadership method to the lowest pencil-pusher. Are we asking something that is not there to deliver?
edit on 24-12-2013 by YetSharkproof because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 24 2013 @ 03:01 PM
reply to post by YetSharkproof

An excellent and pertinent question there!

It appears to me that if we remove from the equation the obvious opportunities taken advantage of by an entrenched subculture; the problem may be in the architecture of the institution itself. That may appear an obtuse way of saying the people of the world must reinvent the means to ensure the absolute independence of those who are in a social sense, our eyes and ears.

Perhaps it was a mistake to allow the press to become a cog in the machinery of governance. It puts our media to work for them, rather than for us.

Commerce is a drug... its effect renders the reckless few drunk, and incapable of serving the institution effectively.

But none are prepared to envision a transition. Not even me. I am not wise enough to fully understand how the human soul has drifted away from human institutions; but it seems clear that in the name of perpetual continuity, we are becoming less, in some unfathomable way, free.

The joke is on us, waiting for an institution to "fix itself." That's is just not how change happens. In a world where the victor writes the history, we may never know of the tragic devastation one of our favored institutions has wrought upon our fellow man. And for the institutions' sake, that's a good thing. But on our side, the media, as I reckon it, seems to have actually reduced the acuity of the people they 'serve.'

So people see the news stories, and are beset by anything other than the whole story. They talk to experts who are not related to the story. They give us the press kit, 'releases' and other such manufactured material that we could probably get, without their help. Some slap on music, others use meme clips, montages, and other such crafted imagery to enhance the 'hook. ' No story is safe.

Can we really expect them to adequately report on such an inquiry? That is the necessary next-step. An inquiry into state of what many call "the fourth estate." This particular estate has been devastated by a network of commercial corporations..., something about the freedom of speech we are neglecting to protect should be said at this point; but I kindly refuse the digression.

I understand that as long as the networks are protected by law, as people, we will NEVER have the access to adequately inquire into the lie machines that the popular media are proud to have become.

In closing, I must point out to those who refuse a conspiracy, note the main media-government nexus is in the Council on Foreign Relations... much is coming to surface on these folks, they actually do have plans for the planet... no one with any connection to this group can be part of the solution because, in my opinion, they are part of the problem.

top topics

log in